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Wed, Jun 03, 2009

Boeing Submits Proposal for USMC Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Demonstration

Boeing has submitted a proposal offering its A160T Hummingbird for the US Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory's Immediate Cargo Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Demonstration Program.

"The Marines have identified an urgent need for unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver supplies in lieu of putting trucks and personnel on dangerous roads," said John Groenenboom, A160T program manager for Boeing. "The A160T was designed from inception as a UAS with significant payload-carrying and high-altitude-operation capabilities, so we are confident in its ability to meet the requirements of this critical mission."

The demonstration contract is expected to be awarded in July. Boeing will demonstrate it can deliver 2,500 pounds of cargo per day from one simulated forward-operating base to another in fewer than six hours per day for three consecutive days. The demonstration program could lead to future business opportunities.

The A160T has a 2,500-pound payload capacity. It features a unique optimum-speed-rotor technology that significantly improves overall performance efficiency by adjusting the rotor’s speed at different altitudes, gross weights and cruise speeds. The autonomous unmanned aircraft, measuring 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter, has hovered at 20,000 feet and has cruised at more than 140 knots. The A160T established a world endurance record in its class in 2008 with an 18.7-hour unrefueled flight.



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